West Village apartment complex NYC

Photo: Robert Clark

Manhattan renters got a break in May, with overall rents remaining relatively stable throughout the borough. However, some neighborhoods saw greater fluctuations in price activity than others, according to a new market report by New York brokerage MNS.

Overall Manhattan rent increased 0.55 percent month-to-month to $3,970.45 in May, up from $3,948.76 recorded the previous month.

The average Manhattan studio recorded a 0.3 percent decrease in rent last month compared to April. While both one bedroom and two bedroom apartments both recorded monthly price gains in May, rents were up 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

By unit type, one-bedroom apartments without a doorman recorded the largest overall monthly gain. Average prices increased 2.5 percent to $3,329 in May, up from $3,249 in April. Meanwhile, studio non-doorman units recorded the largest monthly decrease. The average studio non-doorman rent dropped almost 2 percent to $2,536 in May from the previous month.

Annually, there were more significant price changes. Studio doorman and non-doorman apartment average rents increased 1.1 percent and decreased 2.1 percent, respectively, in May compared to last year.

Manhattan’s one bedroom non-doorman and doorman average prices rose 0.7 percent year-over-year and decreased 4 percent year-over-year, respectively, in May.

And finally, two bedroom non-doorman and doorman average prices both declined annually last month, by 0.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

Manhattan’s rental inventory was up in May. Inventory increased 6.3 percent from the previous month to 11,033 units in May. A little over 53 percent of May’s total inventory were non-doorman apartments, while 46.9 percent of listings were doorman units.

Manhattan’s most affordable apartments in every unit type were located in the Harlem area. Average prices for non-doorman units were as follows: $1,888 (studio), $2,256 (one bedroom) and $2,799 (two bedroom). Meanwhile, doorman units recorded the following average prices: $2,554 (studio), $3,079 (one bedroom), and $4,188 (two bedroom).

Harlem’s listing inventory was 911 units in May, up from 846 units the previous month. May’s inventory was also up significantly from last year’s 683 units.

Harlem continues to attract more not only new residential developments, but new commercial ones as well, like a new Whole Foods opening on 125th Street. However, this level of development might not be such a good thing for New Yorkers in the long run.

“The trend of Harlem rentals prices being the lowest of any Manhattan neighborhood may not persist as more and more people move there,” writes MNS.

Manhattan’s new construction apartments could also potentially be driving prices upwards.

“If you are in a subpar location, but have a great building it could be bringing price up. It really depends on what building it is, where it is, and what competing buildings are in the neighborhood. For example if a luxury doorman apartment in the East Village popped up, it could do really well because that’s really rare in that area,” MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas tells BuzzBuzzNews.

But with many neighborhoods performing stronger than anticipated, and prices skewing upwards, lack of inventory is likely to remain an issue in the coming months.

To find affordable housing, go one stop farther out, Barrocas suggests.

“If you’re looking for something affordable just move a little more out. If you’re on Third Avenue, check out Alphabet City. If you’re in Williamsburg, check out Bushwick.”

Click here to read the entire report.

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